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April 17, 2024 71 mins

We are looking forward to sharing today's conversation with our friend Gary Osmundsen! Gary and his family have been attending our church for a little over eight years. Gary is a husband, father, runner (a very serious one) and philosophy professor at Grand Canyon University. But this was not always the description of Gary's life. He was raised in Cape May, New Jersey with his career all laid out for him in his family's commercial fishing and clamming business. As he entered his early 20s, he began to think deeper about what his life's purpose was. Suddenly the pleasures of life and plans being all set were causing depression and in this he began longing for connection and purpose. He asked God to show Himself to be caring and an event occurred that made Gary believe God was real and present. Eventually he opened up to his uncle who was a Christian and through conversations with him he came to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Gary's life was radically changed! It is difficult even in the interview to fully articulate how drastically Gary's life was affected as he let go of what he knew and trusted in God. His new relationship with Christ awakened a hunger for learning and ultimately a gift for deeper thinking and how to lead others in that. He began attending Eastern University in PA where he met his wife, Julie. Soon after he ended up at Biola University which is where his passion for philosophy was realized in full force. The Lord had his hand over Gary and provided him with opportunities above and beyond what he could've hoped or imagined. His life on the docks in NJ was becoming a distant memory and he excitedly leaned into the path God had for him. He eventually pursued his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma all while cultivating his marriage and being a father to his young children. The Lord was faithful during the years he pursued his education and He certainly had plans to continue showing His faithfulness. Getting a job in humanities is difficult and Gary recounts how he had to lay his dreams of teaching philosophy at the feet of Jesus. You will appreciate Gary's heart and perspective as he shares about how God came through in his younger days in New Jersey and how he never stopped being faithful even all these years later.  

Books Gary recommends (all are available on Amazon): 
The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God by Dallas Willard
The Elusive God: Reorienting Religious Epistemology by Paul K. Moser 
Love Your God with All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul by J.P. Moreland 
A Simple Guide to Experience Miracles: Instruction and Inspiration for Living Supernaturally in Christ by J.P. Moreland

Resident Strangers podcast - https://open.spotify.com/show/5DTNZOJsGBG2C86w646xdA?si=d51b46ca0efc43f8
*available wherever you listen to podcasts

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